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Everything posted by drharps

  1. So my 2 year old pup has been doing great, but there is one question I have regarding training to relax. She has learned that by barking and chirping at us, she either gets let outside or will get training. We have started ignoring her to teach her to stop doing it and rewarding her when she lays down, but it's extremely slow going. Is this the best technique, or should we be more active in making her lay down and reward her so long as she stays down and relaxes. And to preemptively address it: we exercise her well. For instance, this morning we went on a 20 minute walk then did 45 minutes of high energy frisbee. When we got home, she stood in the living room barking at us to play with her. We did 5-10 minutes of intense training, then stopped and she continued barking at us. And we don't mind her being outside, but there are times (rain, evening, etc.) we want her inside with us.
  2. Two quick questions: 1) Every dog I've ever had will go outside, run around and sniff, then come in. My current dog - my first border mix - seems to prefer just hanging outside all day by herself. Are there any concerns with the dog spending the majority of the day outside by herself, other than the obvious of making sure she doesn't get into mischief? The yard is pretty small and I work from home so I can pretty easily minimize potential trouble. 2) Do people have suggestions for things to leave outside with her to keep her entertained? Is it even necessary? She seems content just sitting in the grass and looking around, but a trainer recommended getting a bungee chew or something to tie to a tree for the dog to chew on and tug when she gets excited. Anyone have suggestions/thoughts? Thanks.
  3. Apologies for the slow response. I live in Hawaii and it seems my vet is unusually expensive. Some of the others were more reasonable. As for her teeth, I found the solution: bones from the butcher. Honestly the difference between what her teeth used to look like and now is pretty stark.
  4. Yeah, I was shocked. I was expecting in the $200-400 range. I'm going to call around, but I think it's the nature of the island I live on - things are expensive here.
  5. the timing of this thread is perfect as I logged in to ask a question about brushing teeth. I have never brushed my dogs' teeth, but my new pup is 2 and has clear build up on her teeth. Professional cleanings here are ghastly expensive (over $1K). Judging by this thread, it appears brushing is okay, as is giving them raw bones (for those asking, I have heard from numerous sources that cooked bones can splinter so avoid those, per my sources). Does anyone have suggestions on how to acclimatize the dog to brushing? Mine will lose her mind if I start brushing. My thought is to let her taste the toothpaste, and go super slow: let her smell the toothbrush, treat; put toothbrush on teeth with no brushing, treat; one brushing movement, treat; and so on. Is that the proper protocol or do people have other thoughts?
  6. Great, thanks for the help D'Elle.
  7. My dog is getting close to 2 years old and is generally fine when we leave the house. Recently we started teaching her nose work and it was at a person's house. We crated her and walked away and she would not stop barking. Every other dog there was quiet, but she was not. She does this in other situations, too. If my girlfriend and I are on a walk and I move away any distance, she stares and starts to get antsy, barking and nervous. Any suggestions on how to remedy this?
  8. Thanks for the comments everyone. I've been using hot dogs, cheese (block and canned), and Zukes and she loves them all. Was wanting to mix it up again for something to excite her so I'll try a few of the ones here.
  9. Our trainer thinks that getting our dog anti-anxiety medication would be helpful in getting her to calm down so she's easier to train. Our dog can be reactive on walks and in the yard to strangers, and is almost constantly panting when relaxing in the house. The trainer said getting her medication to help would put her in a better state to learn what we want from her. Obviously this will ultimately be our vet's call, but I'm just curious what people used that worked, and what their dog exhibited before and after using the medication. (i.e. how did your dog change when you began giving her the meds?)
  10. What do people use for their 'high value treat' when training their dog? Our dog is reactive on leash at times and barks too much to people walking by in the yard. We are working on this but want a high value treat to really reward her when she does the right thing. What do people use that they have found to be 'loved' by their dog? (I know it's dog specific but trying to get ideas to try with her.)
  11. She was allowed to roam in our bedroom and the adjacent one and did great for several weeks, then one night chewed up a few things so she was put back in the crate.
  12. Quick request for thoughts: our 1 year old is fine with her crate. During the day and in the evening, part of our training includes "go to your crate" and she happily runs and gets in her crate. Even when we are leaving for a few hours, we can simply say "crate" and she runs and gets in, no problem. At night, however, when we are going to bed she absolutely refuses to go to her crate. We have tried enticing her with treats, waiting her out, etc., but she goes into my bedroom and lays next to the bed, refusing to get up. Thoughts?
  13. Yeah, I don't mean to imply that it's a light switch, but with every dog I've had there have been those moments where I notice that she seems to have passed that puppy stage and is more calm and mature. It's usually a couple of events where I notice she isn't fighting herself anymore or pushing boundaries to see what she can get away with. With past dogs it was usually between 2 and 3. As was mentioned, I saw one big change when she was around 10 months, but I can tell she still has some of the puppy impulsiveness and energy.
  14. The thread on how much exercise got me to thinking: when did your BC turn the corner from puppydom to adult? I know some breeds are late maturers (e.g. Swissies) and have heard from most people it's around 2 years when they go from puppy energy and disobedience to more measured and level adulthood. When did you see that change?
  15. Thanks everyone. That was an old pic of her. She's 14 months old now. I'll set her up and hope to teach her through that. She used to be great about it, but has started exploring her boundaries again.
  16. Thanks for everyone's great advice thus far but I have another issue with Tikka I'm interested in getting help with. When I'm in the room with her, she's generally well behaved. If I have food on the coffee table, she'll go up and sniff it, but is good about ignoring it when I tell her to. The issue is the second I turn my back. If I leave the room, she goes into investigation mode or 'get what I want' mode. If I turn my back and take a few steps away from the 'prize', she's on it. Any suggestions? I don't think it's lack of exercise as we train and exercise her throughout the day (e.g. this morning I trained and played fetch with her for an hour, then we came inside, went in my office, and the second I left the office she was up on my desk pulling off papers). Thoughts on fixing this? And below is an obligatory "I'm the devil" pic of her from a few months ago
  17. I tend to loathe insurance companies and agree with your assessment. Our pup was suspected for a liver shunt due to elevated bile acids, but nothing came of it (they are still assessing the issue). I have a feeling anything that happens to her from here until the day she dies will be considered preexisting, regardless of whether it's related to her liver or a fall on a hike. Some insurance companies I've found have exceptions for congenital issues, but I'm not sure how they determine that if it's not noticed until later in life. I'm leaning towards the savings account side of things. Thanks everyone and thanks for the article forward, I will check that out now.
  18. What are people's thoughts on dog insurance? We had an issue arise with our dog that may have required surgery (liver shunt suspected), but at least for now is clear. I looked up information on insurance and people said one of three things: 1) Get it. It isn't valuable for much until you have that 'big issue' then it can be a real help 2) Not necessary and you spend more on fees than you probably would for most dogs 3) Take what you would have paid for insurance and invest it in a high dividend paying stock. Thoughts? I'm leaning towards 3, but am still up in the air.
  19. My dog used to lunge at bikers and cars and joggers, but has stopped doing it. (She still goes after skateboarders though.) I will say that the biggest difference for me was just her getting used to them. I would take her on a walk to a relatively busy area, and have her sit and just watch, rewarding her when something came relatively close and she didn't react. I'm not saying this is the correct path to fixing the issue, but it worked for me.
  20. I have done that with my dog and have found it helpful. Perhaps not surprisingly, in the rooms where I have tried it (namely: office) she goes in on her own now to lie down and relax. In rooms where I haven't done it as often (e.g. living room), she's more apt to want to play or run around. Could be coincidental, but I've started working more on her long down in the living room.
  21. Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses. D'Elle, I've been working on the Look at That command based on earlier suggestions you made. I hadn't thought to use it for people walking by because by the time I realize a person is coming, she's already on the move to hit the fence with barking. By the time I am anywhere close to her, the person has passed by and she's looking to play. Will see if I can get her to do it through staged walkers passing by. Terrecar, I will try the porch command. She already knows that as well as down and stay so I'll see if I can get her to go to the porch when she sees people and get a treat. Hopefully that causes her to relax and to stop reacting so aggressively to every passer-by. Getting distance is simply not an option given limited space/visuals.
  22. We have a small yard and my pup loves to bark like mad at anyone who walks by. I am trying to train her to not do this, but most of the recommendations I see online aren't necessarily viable in this situation. The main suggestion I see is to put distance between her and the stimuli and when she calms, to decrease the distance until she no longer barks at people. The problem is from distance, her view is blocked by trees/shrubs and she no longer cares about what is going on. She is either within 30 feet of the stimuli, or she can't see them at all and doesn't notice them. One of the trainers we used said to put a muzzle on her (to distract her from barking), and tie her to a tree or post as timeout until she calms down, then release her. (I keep her on leash when we play outside so tying her up won't be especially difficult.) I am curious if people have tried this, or have other methods to teach their dog to not bark. Part of the problem is we can't see when people are coming due to foliage so we can't prepare, and the yard is small so she only barks for a few seconds before the person is out of view, meaning by the time I get a hold of her, the person is gone. Thanks.
  23. I'm looking for a good disc/frisbee to use for my dog so I'm curious if people have any suggestions. I don't need a soft frisbee as my pup doesn't catch it out of the air, instead I have her chase it (usually rolling it along the ground) and play tug of war when she brings it back. The tug of war, however, has led to the killing of two frisbees so I'm curious if people have any experience with one they really like that will stand up to some tugging and chewing.
  24. A trainer asked what flea and tick medication I use. I told her I used something that was a chewable form and she immediately asked that we switch to liquid drop on the back. She indicated that the chewable can cause aggression and unpredictability. Has anyone heard this before? There are a couple of sites talking about it but I've never heard it.
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